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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 4, 2010 2:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: who, me?

Hmm? Why pick me out?

It happened to be Dark Star on Two From the Vault that converted me....but maybe if I'd first heard Dicks Picks One from '73, that might've done the trick too.
I went on my initial live-Dead buying spree without knowing squat about their live history (I was completely unfamiliar with their songs), so I did listen to all that later stuff that was available - the Dick's Picks from '85, '91, '92, Nightfall from '89, Dozin' from '90... And in general, my reaction was "WTF? Why did anyone go to see this?"
So my preference for the early years is 'objectively' earned, if that's what you're looking for.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Mar 4, 2010 7:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

"I did listen to all that later stuff that was available...my reaction was "WTF? Why did anyone go to see this?"

I often wonder the same...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 4, 2010 3:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Ah--yep, that's EXACTLY what I wanted to hear! "Objectively earned"!

And you do know I may come off poorly at times, Will Rodgers compliments aside, in my web language, so please don't ever imagine I am picking on you or some such...I just know others here are still getting over the "I didn't see them live" comment the other day...I think it speaks volumes.

Volumes as in the thesis I have maintained here for yrs: contrary to the notion espoused by some here abouts that biases pervade all we experience, to the effect that folks often rank the shows they attended highly, I maintain that anyone doing this (ie, seriously evaluating the music) with any objectivity gets beyond that very quickly...and you are a great case in point. Me (not that in ANY way I measure up to the detailed and informative kinds of analyses you two provide here!) and CLIFF too...we have settled on shows that none of us attended as our favs (or at least we rank many of them highly).

This no doubt comes off poorly as if I am trying to say "hey, if you all were objective you'd agree with us that the early era is the best!" and that's not the point...the point is that we can be objective and sort thru shows and pick and choose based on what we hear now, independent of what we saw, or didn't see...

That's all I was getting at...thanks again for sharing with us.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Mar 4, 2010 7:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

I'm not sure I'm buying what you're selling today Tell (Jots would call bullshit on you here). So if I think 1981 is the best year am I objective since I started seeing shows in 1987? Is it fair to compare 1973 with 1995 when 99% of heads would pick one over the other? I think Genny makes a good point that you have boxed yourself in such a narrow range that how can that not lead to boredom? Well, to each his own I guess.

By the way, I'm probably one of the few that partially agree with you. While I think 1973 is a very well played year, I see your point that it lacks energy, and perhaps it's how we define energy. Jerry's guitar tone is clean, the jams are more jazzy (and spacey) vs the hard driving shows from 68-71. 1976 is another year that seems slows to me, and perhaps its more tempo related as opposed to quality playing. As you know, I really enjoy the hard charging coke years of the early 80's, which to me have the energy and high quality playing- so I guess I could say I feel sorry for you (and Genny?) as well....but who really cares? Blast away 12-29-68 tonight!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 4, 2010 8:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Hey BD--I've been selling so much tonight, wanted to make sure which load of my BS you were taking issue with (politely of course).

"Jots would call bullshit on you here" Ha! Yes, he probably would--good catch.

"how can that not lead to boredom?" True of course, but I suppose if I have 400 shows (whatever it is), and the "30 yr fan" has 2500, I suppose I am only going to get bored 80% faster, right? Still, I get around that with plenty of other interests, so no real problem there...

"By the way, I'm probably one of the few that partially agree with you." Yes!

But, as to your primary point (this is where I am guessing), did you wonder what I meant by "the objectivity and shows you attended thesis"?

All I am getting at with that biz is that some folks regularly mention that the shows peeps attended get high marks because they were there. IE, these folks admit that bias enters into it. I have no problem with that; it's probably true.

What I am always pointing out is that other folks, or the same folks when they want to make an effort to try to be objective, end up ranking shows they did NOT attend highly too. No big deal there really--not saying it is the "truth" that they have discovered or some such...nor that great shows couldn't have been attended or any such sillyness...and in fact, it might be that someone that went from 72 thru 78 might, like you, end up after listening to everything here, say, "hey, I really think that 82 is the best!". I think that is possible, that's all--they could analyze it "objectively" and come to that conclusion.

Now, I do take pride, and a bit of tongue in cheek satisfaction, in noting that most folks that do what I just described (like me), end up saying, "well, I didn't see them, but now that I have listened to it all, I like 68 over 92 (the only yr I saw them)" or some such.

Does it really mean that 68 is the best? No, as we all know, it is subjective in large measure. But, I do think that you could tick off some (just some) objective criteria and use it as backing for your position (like what I always try to do: say, "better voice for Jerry!" or "great song writing by Hunter!" or "higher energy level for Jerry" and so on and so forth). Of course, you, or whomever, could say "better technical playing by Jerry in 73" or "tighter arrangements for songs" or whatever for some later year, and then as you note, it would come down to what we like...

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Poster: billydlions Date: Mar 4, 2010 9:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

It seemed like you were implying that anyone who was not influenced by the shows they attended, would gravitate towards the early years. That was my main point I was trying to make. I also took issue with you throwing out 1995 to Genny comparing that to 1973, which I didnt think was a fair counterpoint.

But I admit that I'm no more objective than the next guy although I rarely listen to any shows from the era that I attended. I, like you, prefer a more up-tempo style of music. I think that's why I took an instant liking to 1971 and I also enjoy 1968 (although the repetitiveness of songs keeps me from listening exclusively to these years). That's probably why we both like Cream better then EC solo. I also grew up in NJ in the 80's where metal was ruling at the time.....so all these influences somehow came together and when I heard shows from 1981 I was instantly sold on the aggressive (faster) style they were playing and of course I love the JGB from 1979-1984, which is in a similar mode.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Mar 5, 2010 7:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

I'm not quite sure why anyone really cares about objectivity in one's musical preferences. We like what we like. Who cares why?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 5, 2010 7:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Oh, I think it matters in a big way...otherwise, why even talk about it? Seriously? If all we did was to say "I like this" and it had NO impact on you, and you said "I like that" and vice versa, it really wouldn't be very interesting...

I've said many, many times that the human condition does in fact NOT work in that fashion...as much as it will irritate any number of folks, there ARE rules for art, music etc. It is NOT all whim and fancy.

That's why there are museums, awards, etc., etc. Now, we may find that at certain times certain genres don't catch our fancy, BUT it is NOT all up for grabs as the Post Modernists suggest...it is all NOT just narrative.

At least we better all hope it is not.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Mar 5, 2010 7:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Don't get me started on museums and awards. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a joke, and I didn't exactly need the GD to win a Grammy (in 1997!) to know how I felt about them.

But please tell me dear Mr. Tell... What exactly are the "rules for art"? I'm dying to know. And I can't believe I've made it this far in life without someone letting me in on such important information.

But if you need an explanation as to why I can appreciate 80's and 90's GD, then I'll tell you: The Dead were the only band that did what they did. Even in the 90's there still wasn't any other band like them. If I could have gone back to '68 or '71 or '73 to see one of those shows then I damn well would have. But I knew from the very first show that I saw (in 1990) that Jerry could still pull a rabbit out of a hat every once in a while. That's why I stayed with it. Maybe if I'd actually seen shows in the 70's I'd have felt differently about. Who knows?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 5, 2010 11:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Well, I would argue you do know them already...sure they are not simple, and sure they beg definition, BUT the amazing thing is just look around you at "great art" that has stood the test of time...there is a reason my first grade art sculpture isn't on display somewhere, right? I know that sounds silly, but think about it...

Some of the best examples of cross cultural consistency have to do with various cultures ranking sounds and visual displays in very similar fashions...it seems we DO share fundamental notions of what is "good" and what is "not so good"...think of how many times someone said "you have to HEAR this!" and you discovered an entire music genre that after getting past "recently induced/indoctrinated cultural artefact" you did indeed come to appreciate it...

MS can take it from here--I am all worn out.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 5, 2010 11:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Sorry--shudda said it's why we have "good museums!" Cultural trivia like the R&R HofF are just that..."bad museums" but therein lays (lies?!) the proof, right? You KNEW that...so, you judged accordingly. You don't scoff at the Louvre, right?

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Mar 5, 2010 9:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tools of the rules

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=270514

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 5, 2010 10:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: tools of the rules

Thank you.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 5, 2010 9:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

There may as you say, be rules – but are they rules that can be applied across the board in all circumstances allowing us to make these objective judgements? Is it necessary to know what the 'rules' are to have an appreciation of the art? Take a look at this clip of Derek Bailey. What rules is he following?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn_m8PzSWV0

No matter how hard I try to listen to Bailey I just don’t ‘get it’. In fact, I have no clue what ‘it’ actually is. My jazz guitar playing friend practically worshipped Derek Bailey, thought he was one of the finest practitioners of the six-string guitar who ever picked up the instrument. Unlike me, he did get it. What to me appears to be almost random string-strangling was, so I was told, a highly constructed piece of music requiring real talent to perform. Subjectively, I think it verges on being a noise and I don’t really like it. Objectively? I don’t have the tools to judge, but I think that even if I did know the rules I still wouldn’t like it that much.

So, what are the rules that will allow a fair-minded, unbiased listener to conclude that, say, a 68 St Stephen is to be preferred to a 73 Eyes of the World? Can’t be formulated in my belief. Objectivity, especially in terms of art, will only take you so far. Objectively, you could probably tie most people down to an admission that Phil Lesh is a better bass player than Sid Vicious ever was in terms both of technical ability and inventiveness, but Lesh would have out and out sucked in the Sex Pistols.

Whim and fancy just aren’t going to go away.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Mar 5, 2010 9:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Is that a cover of the Dead tuning?

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 5, 2010 9:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

hah! The thing with those Bailey types is that they sound like that all the time - at least the Dead eventually swung into Wharf Rat or something.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 5, 2010 10:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

I would refer back to the great debate on photo art...in the end, save for JOTS, I think we all agreed that there are "good" photos and "not so good" photos...

All I am saying is, and just as vaguely, "we" (humankind) do in fact share many of the same notions of beauty...this HAS been established across many cultures from a visual perspective eg (ie, many tribes with no known contact rank birds as "unattractive to attractive" in a scale so similar to your Brit Bird Watching Geeks it'd make your head spin...

This is not to say I can define it for various artforms, and I do believe whim and fancy enter into as well...but, I will go to my grave convinced it is not ALL whim and fancy, and I know that you work hard at what you do, knowing it to be true at some level, or some hack like me could outsell you in your biz...but that only happens every once in a while, right?

I will say, "...though I can't define it, I know it when I see it" and I think the human condition is what gives each and everyone of us the ability to do this in any number of artistic endeavors...

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 5, 2010 11:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Just been looking at your earlier exchange with midnight, which, for whatever reason, I had entirely missed. Sometimes the exchanges in this forum make my brain throb - and that is entirely a good thing.

So, quick question: is the possibility of there being an objective assessment of an artform not dependent on a shared subjectivity? i.e. we agree based on a pooling of our individual responses that thing A has worth while thing B does not?

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Poster: high flow Date: Mar 5, 2010 12:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Okay then. Which one of you is "thing A"?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 5, 2010 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

That's "thang" (you have to recall the scene from Serpico [great flick I always thought] to get it).

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 5, 2010 12:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: who, me?

Why you little smarty pants--I think that gets at the REAL question: the degree to which this was codified long ago as hunter gatherers, OR the degree to which particular ways in which our minds work were selected "for" (as in language).

I am surprised no one called me on the "culture" (= environment) vs "genes" (heredity) biz already...